It’s always great to see a member of the LGBT community break barriers that may have seemed impossible just a few years ago. Such is the case for trans boxer Patricio Manuel. Not only has he already made history becoming the world's first transgender boxer to compete in a professional fight, but he has made history again by becoming the new face of the iconic boxing brand Everlast.
Although this is an amazing accomplishment, the journey to getting where he is today has not been an easy one. Manuel says he had to risk everything in order to achieve his dream of competing as a male boxer.
He actually began his boxing career as a female competitor in the early 2000s. During this run, he won five national amateur championships and competed in the 2012 Olympic trials as a woman, but was eliminated after suffering a shoulder injury. During his recovery he came to the realization that he wasn't living in his truth.
"Once I realized that I was trans, I knew that I needed to live my life being seen as a man,"
A year later he finally made the decision to fully transition. "I was juggling back and forth for a while,” Manuel says. He states that he wanted to be completely honest with himself and he no longer wanted to live a lie.
"For me, that was competing in the female division because that wasn’t how I saw myself. And if I continued to push off my medical transition, I was doing more harm to myself.”
Manuel made his decision even though he was faced with the possibility of not being able to compete in the sport that he truly loved. “I realized that I needed to go all-in and risk it all,” he says. During his transition, he was abandoned by his coach, his gym, two jobs and friends.
However, he did not let any of these things deter him from his goals. In fact, it only made him fight harder. He says the challenges he faced were well worth the pain. Manuel feels that in order to achieve success, it is imperative to know yourself and know what you want in life and figure out what you are willing to do — and give up for it.
“Regardless of what your goals are, whether you are trans, whether you are an athlete or not, our dreams have big costs to it, and it all requires risk for us to find that reward,” he says.
This inspirational story just goes to show that staying true to who you are really can pay off in the long run. Gayes, help us congratulate Patricio Manuel on this huge accomplishment!